If You’re Always Unhappy with How You Look, You May Have Body Dysmorphic Disorder

We all dislike some parts of our body and if given a chance, we would like to change it. Everybody has several body image issue and we try to deal with it in numerous ways. But few people are obsessed with their looks especially with their flaws. And this over thinking process can lead to low functioning and depression. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is an unhealthy obsession with the way a person looks physically and thinking about ways to change it.

Recently a Bollywood actor Ileana D’cruz shared a video in which she discusses about how she overcomes BDD and depression. Since she was a teenager, she has been suffering from BDD and got diagnosed only a few years ago. She is now learning to love herself with the help of her loved ones and therapy. Not only Ileana but several other celebrities like Micheal Jackson, Franz Kafka, Sylvia Plath and Andy Warhol have also dealt with this problem.

Here’s everything you need to know about Body Dysmorphic Disorder and what you can do to help

What is BDD?
As per  BDD Foundation, it is “a preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in appearance, which is unnoticeable to others. Sometimes the flaw is noticeable but is a normal variation (e.g. male pattern baldness) or is not as prominent as the sufferer believes.”

What are the symptoms of BDD?
If a person is constantly doing things to change his appearance like wearing dramatic makeup or colouring his hair then there are chances that the person is suffering from BDD. It includes comparing their bodies with other people and constantly checking themselves in the mirror. Considering cosmetic surgery and excessive grooming is also a symptom of BDD.

What are the consequences of BDD?
Several other mental health issues like anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, depression and eating disorders are caused by BDD.

How can you help?
If any person is suffering from this disorder then it doesn’t mean that he is ‘mad’ or ‘mental’. You should help them out in their struggle. Calmly talk to them and try to convince them to seek help. In this case getting professional help is recommended. Dealing with BDD is a long process that requires time, patience and efforts.
For more information visit the BDD Foundation’s website.